About Us
Global Focus
Visiting Scholars
Postdoctoral Fellows
PhD Students
Networks & Groups
Master of Public Policy
IR Program
Lind Initiative
Room Booking
Lobby Gallery
Benjamin Perrin
Faculty Associate, Liu Institute for Global Issues; Associate Professor, Law
Office: Allard Hall 363
Office Phone: (604) 822-1208
Fax: (604) 822-8108

Benjamin Perrin is an Associate Professor at the UBC Faculty of Law and Faculty Associate at the Liu Institute for Global Issues. He is currently on leave as a special advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office where he serves as in-house legal counsel and lead policy advisor on justice, public safety, and immigration matters.

Professor Perrin is a lawyer, award-winning researcher and author, and internationally recognized advocate for victims of crime. The U.S. State Department has recognized him as a “hero”, and the Governor General of Canada and victims’ groups have also honoured him for his work to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Professor Perrin is the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from the University of Toronto and University of Calgary.

Professor Perrin's book Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin, 2010) became a bestseller and was named one of the top books of the year by the Globe and Mail. He is co-editor of Human Trafficking: Exploring the International Nature, Concerns, and Complexities (CRC Press, 2012), and editor of Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations and the Law (UBC Press, 2012). He is also the author of numerous law review articles and book chapters.

Prior to joining UBC, Professor Perrin was senior policy advisor to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada, a judicial intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and assistant director of the Special Court for Sierra Leone Legal Clinic, which assisted the Trial and Appeals Chambers.

Professor Perrin holds a Master of Laws (with honours) from McGill University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction), specializing in international business, from the University of Calgary.

Benjamin Perrin
A timely examination of how modern armed conflicts have outpaced the laws designed to govern them.
11 July 2012
Benjamin Perrin
Faculty Associate Benjamin Perrin writes about migrant smuggling and the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act (Bill C-4), which was re-introduced in Parliament in June 2011 and includes amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). “Bill C-4 contains a maligned provision that would automatically detain migrants who are part of a group arrival designated by the Minister for a year without access to review, unless they are released by the Minister or they are granted refugee status earlier,” he writes. Perrin suggests that Bill C-4 should be modified so that smuggled migrants should receive an initial review within 48 hours, with further reviews every three or six months thereafter; and so that minors should be exempted from the new regulations, and handled under the current rules that related to their age group.
14 November 2011
Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin, a UBC law professor, called for law enforcement officials to begin publicly naming people convicted of crimes such as human trafficking and sexual exploitation. “There are 74 human traffickers currently before the courts in Canada,” Perrin told close to 1,000 attendees at a conference at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Most other convicted criminals are “named and shamed,” from arsonists to relatively petty criminals, he noted. Yet those engaged in “modern slavery” are neither getting the punishment, nor the public attention, they deserve, said Perrin.
21 October 2011
Benjamin Perrin
Prostitution will not become safer if a landmark court case strikes down Canada’s prostitution laws and allows for legalized pimping, bawdy houses and communicating for the purpose of prostitution. Indeed, research and evidence show that the exact opposite occurs. “All of the countries that have experimented with legalizing prostitution have really failed to make this safer for the people who are being sold,” said UBC law professor Benjamin Perrin, author of the book Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking. “In Amsterdam, in recent years, they had to shut down almost half of the red-light district because of the infiltration of organized crime and violent pimps who profit from the trade in women,” said Perrin.
16 June 2011
Benjamin Perrin
Member of Parliament Joy Smith and UBC Law Professor Benjamin Perrin are calling for the development of a comprehensive national action plan to combat human trafficking in Canada.
27 October 2010
Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin, author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking and a law professor at UBC, writes an editorial saying that Canada makes it easy for child sex offenders to travel abroad and sexually abuse children. “The United States requires convicted American pedophiles to notify authorities of any planned international travel…[and] also requires the destination country be notified, leaving it up to them to decide whether to admit the individual. Canada has no such law,” writes Perrin. “The federal government has yet to take decisive action on this issue. It must do so as part of a broader national action plan to combat the problem of human trafficking — a crime that is not just happening abroad, but right here in Canada.”
22 October 2010
Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin, a UBC law professor, writes about a trafficking business where children are being sold for sex on the website Craigslist. “Last month, Craigslist shut down its erotic/adult services sections completely across the U.S., but to date has refused to do so in our country. The company and its executives continue to knowingly allow the website to be used by traffickers here,” writes Perrin. “If Craigslist is unwilling to immediately end the criminal assistance that its website is providing to traffickers, then charges should be laid under the Criminal Code against the company, its founder Craig Newmark, and CEO Jim Buckmaster for aiding and abetting human trafficking and the prostitution of minors.”
7 October 2010
Benjamin Perrin
The global problem of human trafficking is only beginning to be recognized in Canada, even though it has been hidden in plain sight. In Invisible Chains, Benjamin Perrin, an award-winning law professor and policy expert, exposes cases of human trafficking, recording in-depth interviews with people on the front lines--police officers, social workers, and the victims themselves--and bringing to light government records released under access-to-information laws.
5 October 2010
Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin, a UBC law professor and author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking, writes about legalizing prostitution, after the recent court decision in Ontario. Perrin says that countries that have legalized prostitution have not succeeded in preventing the problems associated with prostitution such as physical violence, rape and murder. He says Sweden’s approach of punishing people who purchase sex is more effective. “If there’s any positive side effect of the Ontario decision, it might prompt Parliament to consider adopting the Swedish model, as the standing committee on the status of women recommended in 2007. Canada should commit to abolishing sexual exploitation,” writes Perrin.
1 October 2010
Benjamin Perrin
Liu Institute Fellow Benjamin Perrin's newest article in C2C Journal.
22 June 2010
Benjamin Perrin
Liu Institute Faculty Fellow Benjamin Perrin has just completed a new study on trafficking in persons and transit countries, with a specific look at Canada and the United States.
7 June 2010
Benjamin Perrin
The 76 migrants who entered Canadian waters aboard a rusting vessel are true asylum seekers, their government-appointed lawyer said Wednesday. Speaking at a forum on migration at UBC's Institute for Global Issues, Daniel McLeod said that the young Tamils he has spoken to so far fear for their lives if they are forced back. Experts in refugee law said identifying these migrants accurately is a heavy responsibility. "CSIS officers are no doubt working to verify that information with evidence they collect," said Benjamin Perrin, a UBC instructor in refugee law. "And it is one of the challenges here. A post- conflict scenario creates a real opportunity for terrorists, war criminals and former combatants to simply blend in with civilians."
28 October 2009
Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin, a faculty fellow at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, says the interception of an unflagged ship bearing the name Ocean Lady off Canada's Pacific coast is "a serious wake-up call for Canadians."
22 October 2009
By Gabrielle Giroday, Benjamin Perrin
Earlier this month, a rare spotlight shone on Internet-advertised prostitution in Winnipeg after a bust in a residential area led to six arrests. Unlike the highly visible work of street prostitutes, unlicensed escorts selling themselves online say they are generally used to operating under the radar from law enforcement as long as they sell sex quietly. Human trafficking expert Benjamin Perrin, an Assistant Professor in the UBC faculty of law argues the Internet poses a risk for exploitation of vulnerable people. He said cyberspace is a "new frontier" for people who want to profit from sexual exploitation of minors or human trafficking victims. "The Internet has become a free and anonymous Wild West for online ads for sex," he said. He said he's familiar with cases in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario where predators used the Internet to market exploited persons.
26 September 2009
Benjamin Perrin, By Sandie Benitah
CTV News featured the Liu Institute's first Global Focus, "Ending the Vacation of Canada’s Travelling Sex Offenders", as one of their top stories this long-weekend. Liu Global Focus highlights a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC), which finds that Canada has fallen behind Australia and the United States in cracking down on its travelling child sex offenders, and calls on the RCMP to pro-actively enforce Canada’s so-called “child sex tourism” laws.
2 August 2009
Benjamin Perrin
Liu Institute Faculty Associate Ben Perrin, speaks to CTV in a report that says Winnipeg is the worst city in Canada for child sex crimes. Perrin said children as young as 12 are being forced by pimps and gangs to sell themselves on the street and on-line where it is proving very difficult to catch and convict the bad guys. The UBC professor has found more than 300 advertisements for Winnipeg girls and women on the website Craigslist.
12 July 2009
By Steve Lambert, Benjamin Perrin
Benjamin Perrin, a former federal adviser who now teaches law at UBC, says Canada needs a national plan to combat human trafficking in the sex trade. Perrin, speaking at a human trafficking forum put on by the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said police forces are inadequately staffed and trained to crack down on the underground system that ships young women and girls between controlling pimps. The two-day forum comes at a time when aboriginal leaders across Canada are calling for help in dealing with the number of missing or dead young native women, some of whom vanished after being lured into prostitution.
8 July 2009
Benjamin Perrin
A new report by the U.S. State Department says law enforcement officials must do more to protect Canadians, particularly women and children, from being dragged into the sex trade against their will. Benjamin Perrin, a UBC law professor and human trafficking expert, said Wednesday that while Canada has laws that make human trafficking a crime, it doesn't have a national action plan to investigate crimes and prosecute offenders. "What's really missing though is putting the pieces of the puzzle all together," Perrin told CTV's Canada AM. "The report that came out yesterday criticized Canada for a lack of enforcing those laws against traffickers, and for a lack of co-ordination."
17 June 2009
Benjamin Perrin, By Camille Bains
Ben Perrin, a law professor at UBC, says Craigslist officials seem open to changing their online sex ads section in Canada after dropping it altogether in the United States. Perrin, along with the RCMP and the Peel Regional Police force in Ontario have discussed the issue with the online classified ad company in an effort to prevent sexual exploitation of minors. “There's an agreement to move forward to the next stage, which is to begin to discuss some of the specific measures and assess which would be most effective in the Canadian context,” he said.
10 June 2009
Benjamin Perrin, By Tamara Cherry
A section of Craigslist that has been used to advertise erotic services will be replaced by a more tightly monitored adult services section in the U.S., leaving Canadian experts hopeful that a similar move may happen here. "Craigslist continues to be the leading website where individuals buy and sell old computer equipment, unwanted sofas and, in many cases, victims of human trafficking in the sex trade," said UBC-based human trafficking expert Benjamin Perrin. "You can't ignore it. "(Craigslist) has really fundamentally changed the nature of sexual exploitation in Canada and it's continued to do that very rapidly," he said.
15 May 2009
Benjamin Perrin, By Tamara Cherry
Benjamin Perrin, an assistant professor at the Liu Institute, UBC, says Toronto Police Service isn't holding pimps accountable for the slave trade plaguing the city's streets. The accusation came after the arrest of an alleged pimp in the city's northwest end Tuesday. All charges point to human trafficking yet no such charge was laid, Perrin said. "It's analogous to if someone is murdered and you simply charge them with multiple assault counts or serious aggravated assaults. There's a more serious charge that should be laid," he said.
30 April 2009
CTV W-FIVE, Benjamin Perrin
The Liu Institute's Benjamin Perrin was interviewed in a W-FIVE report looking at why Canadian authorities aren't doing more to catch its pedophiles overseas. Perrin obtained records through Access to Information requests that show between 1993 and 2008, despite few convictions at home, at least 156 Canadians faced local charges in foreign jurisdictions for offences related to child sex abuse and exploitation.
7 March 2009
Benjamin Perrin, By Camille Bains
UBC law professor Ben Perrin, a leading expert on human trafficking, is urging Parliament to pass a private member's bill introduced Thursday in the House of Commons. Perrin said the bill would impose a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for those involved in trafficking people under 18. "The courts are failing us right now so there's a vital need for this private member's bill, '' he said.
29 January 2009
Benjamin Perrin
Canada has only convicted one person in the last decade under our extraterritorial child sex offender law. This stands in stark contrast to other developed countries that actively enforce similar laws. Canadians are continuing to travel abroad and sexually abuse children, despite a criminal prohibition dating to 1997.
11 April 2008
  Global Focus: Ending the Vacation of Canada’s Travelling Sex Offenders
A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) finds that Canada has fallen behind Australia and the United States in cracking down on its travelling child sex offenders, and calls on the RCMP to pro-actively enforce Canada’s so-called “child sex tourism” laws. The study is particularly timely with the recent extradition of an alleged Canadian child sex offender on child sex tourism charges in the U.S.
Global Focus: On the Edges of Conflict
Armed conflict in the early 21st century tends to be asymmetrical and protracted, fought by an array of armed groups on both physical and political battlefields, and causing disproportionate suffering and death to civilians. The Edges of Conflict Project is working to better understand the nature of such conflict and to improve respect for the rule of law in complex security environments.
  Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking
Liu Faculty Fellow Prof. Benjamin Perrin's first book "Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking" is being published this fall by Penguin Group (Canada). Hardcover copies are now available online for pre-order.
Currently Teaching:
See Law profile.
Print Version
Log in
All Rights Reserved© 2007, Liu Institute for Global Issues
Banner Photos by Lindsay Mackenzie
Design by BlendMedia